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National Sailing Hall Of Fame And The Sailing Museum Director To Step Down

Newport, R.I. – The Board of Directors of The Sailing Museum & National Sailing Hall of Fame announced today that Heather Ruhsam is stepping down as Executive Director, effective June 30, 2023.

Ruhsam has served as director for four years. In that time, she made the Board’s goal of creating a permanent home for the National Sailing Hall of Fame a reality and spearheaded the creation of The Sailing Museum on the waterfront in downtown Newport, Rhode Island. Throughout her tenure, she has forged strong community ties, driven fundraising success through the pandemic, staged the official museum opening in May 2022 and overseen the first successful year of business. Her commitment, collaboration and hard work has delighted both sailors and non-sailors alike. Ruhsam also created new energy around the Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremonies – the crown jewel of the organization.

“It has been a highlight in my career and a true honor to lead the organization through this chapter of its history,” said Ruhsam. “I am delighted with the response from the sailing community, our local community and our visitors. We have created a space that is fun, educational, exciting and most importantly, that will have an impact in Newport and across the greater sailing community for decades to come.” Ruhsam now looks forward to new challenges and new concepts to transform.

“We wish Heather all the very best in her next adventure,” said Board of Directors co-chair Tom Whidden. “She has been the guiding light for the National Sailing Hall of Fame and The Sailing Museum since its inception in Newport. The long-term viability of what has become the preeminent sailing museum in the US has been ensured by Heather’s capable leadership through this period. She should be most proud of her many accomplishments.”

“We are grateful for Heather’s contribution to the opening of the National Sailing Hall of Fame and The Sailing Museum,” said Board of Directors co-chair Gary Jobson. “We wish her well in her future endeavors.”

The Board of Directors has begun a search for Heather’s successor and will make an announcement in the coming weeks.

For more information on The Sailing Museum please visit To learn more about the National Sailing Hall of Fame, please visit

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